h250cm x w120cm x d90cm
Artist’s Proof I
“While walking through London, late one night, returning home from a pre-lockdown lock-in in a favoured Farringdon pub (The Betsey Trotwood), I was suddenly confronted by two shadowy figures shuffling along the pavement ahead of me. As I approached, the intimidating silhouettes changed into more distinct human forms – these spectres were in-fact inspecting for leaks in London’s water system.
These detectors always work in the dead of night because the quiet and still aids their listening. The listening sticks – long metal poles with a wooden spool, which when cupped to the ear amplify the sound of the flowing water. I was amazed by this rudimentary method of detection in the 21st century and the literal example of humans using their natural senses to connect with the classical elements of our planet in the cause of prevention.
The image of these listening figures struck me as a strong metaphor for the changes currently occurring in society; of being aware of and accepting climate change and moving toward restoring the health of our planet. Changing our habits to prevent further destruction is now essential, however difficult to embrace. The listeners remind us that this cannot only be guided by our heads and scientific knowledge, but requires the senses and the greater consciousness that animates all life.
This series of works is symbolic of the acts of listening that are needed to respond to the ongoing environmental crises. It represents a connectedness between humans and the plane through the senses. Through work my aim has been to represent a human form that is both aware of the problems it has caused and conscious of what it has to do to affect change. The figures in the work capture a moment, a human on the brink of acting, or not as the case may be – the position humanity currently finds itself in.” Thomas Merrett – January 2023
Thomas Merrett (b. Melton, Suffolk 1987) is a sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker based in East London. His work is centred around the human form, a fascination for anatomy and movement, and the challenge of portraying this in sculpture and drawing. Merrett aims to create a unique interpretation of the subject in front of him rather than a literal replication of their likeness.